Skip to main content
Climate Preparedness and Resilience Program Banner  
USACE Guidance Services Related Links and Information

Responses to Climate Change Program

Vulnerability Assessments and Reporting

RCC Program Home   Regional Climate Impact Assessments
Climate Change Adaptation Communication   Regulatory Aspects of Climate Change and Adaptation
Coastal Storm Adaptation   Sea-Level Change Adaptation
Ecosystem Adaptation   Snow, Glacial, Ice Impacts and Adaptation
Greenhouse Gas Accounting   Vulnerability Assessments and Reporting
Hydrology to Support Adaptation   Water Management Adaptation
Pilots and Demonstrations  

Climate vulnerability assessments are necessary to help guide adaptation planning and implementation so that USACE can successfully perform its missions, operations, programs, and projects in an increasingly dynamic physical, socioeconomic, and political environment. USACE has completed several activities in connection with high level assessments of vulnerability to climate change. These include a preliminary assessment presented in USGS Circular 1331 and high-level vulnerability analysis (pdf, 951 KB) to climate change required by the Council on Environmental Quality.

Our adaptation plans describe the vulnerability assessments that USACE is conducting on its own projects. These nationwide screening-level vulnerability assessments are designed to be conducted in phases (so the initial assessment can be refined) using a modular approach (so new and updated information can replace initial information) and supported by tools and visualizations used by district staff. The analyses build on existing, national-level tools and data, including specific indicators of vulnerability representing USACE business lines.


CESL Fact Sheet

Comprehensive Evaluation of Projects with Respect to Sea-Level Change Fact Sheet

Coastal Climate Change

There is sufficient actionable science, USACE policy, and USACE technical guidance to support coastal vulnerability assessments at the project level.

The initial vulnerability assessment (IVA) was completed by USACE district teams in September 2014. Additional, more detailed, assessments are under way. More information about this assessment can be found at, and a fact sheet shown to the right can be downloaded.

Inland Climate Change

For non-coastal areas, actionable science does not exist to support project-level vulnerability assessment with a reasonable level of confidence. Instead, we are conducting phased vulnerability assessments focused primarily on the potential exposure to climate change-induced changes in freshwater discharge at the level of 4-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUC-4) watersheds. (see for more information about USGS hydrologic units). The climate information and hydrology supporting the watershed vulnerability assessment is described at The watershed vulnerability assessment can be reached by USACE employees here.

The inland and coastal vulnerability assessments will be merged over the next several years. Future refinements and more detailed vulnerability assessments for high priority projects are planned.

Support to Army

USACE R&D is also supporting Army in conducting vulnerability assessments of installations.

Recent US Climate Change and Hydrology Literature Applicable to US Army Corps of Engineers Missions


revised 8 March 2017


Home | Contact Us | Search | Site Map | Privacy and Security | Responses to Climate Change Program | Climate Preparedness and Resilience | Public Tools Developed by USACE | Services

Download the reader for PDF documents.


Photo of dry cracked soil with leaves growing through